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A tribute to Lambert Linley Lives

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12.NOV.10

By R. T. Luke V. Browne – November 8, 2010

Dr. Alphonso Linley said yesterday, at our church service, that a part of his father lives in each of us. I am among those who would carry along his memory. I cannot forget the support he gave, from the very early days, when-as a young boy-I would come unto this stage and perform at Christmas programmes and other events.

I grew up before his eyes, and when he learnt of my movement unto the national stage, he gave me the best of his counsel. He was a great support. He encouraged and advised me in genuine and caring ways. He helped me to prepare.

About 2 months ago, I visited Brother Linley at his home. On that occasion he gave me an extended lesson. Sister Linley marveled that we would spend such a long time together and that I was taking careful notes of all that her husband was saying. Brother Linley told her that Luke wanted to learn, and that he was not sure when he would see me again.

Then, Brother Linley told me that the top law is integrity. No doubt he knew about integrity from his general experience of life, and from his specific experience as a builder. Most critically, his message is upheld by the Scriptures.

David, in his Psalms, points out the value of integrity. His requests for protection and sustenance were based on his integrity. There are multiple references. In Psalm 7:8, David cries out to the Lord asking him to:

Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.{{more}}

In Psalm 26:1, he calls out to the Father in almost identical terms when he says:

Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.

David’s prayer for deliverance, captured in Psalm 25:21, goes:

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee

In Psalm 41:12, David acknowledges that he benefitted from the favour of the Lord because of his integrity. In a passage that drives home the point and is instructive for the Linley children, 1 Kings 9:4-5, the Lord said to Solomon:

4 And if thou wilt walk before me as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

5 Then I will establish the throne of thy Kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.

Perhaps the most powerful lesson we could learn from the Bible in relation to integrity, though, comes from Job. You know the affliction that Job suffered. Job lost all his possessions but did not curse God. The Lord delighted in his servant. Consider Chapter 2, Verse 3:

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

Satan responded that once Job’s flesh was touched he would curse God, then went forth and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. Job’s wife would say to him (Job 2:9):

Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.

Job held fast. Later in the book (27:5), he says:

Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

Job was delivered. His fortune was restored and increased.

Church, when Brother Linley told me that integrity was the top law, he was telling me come what may, in politics or in life, come what adversity or trial, integrity would see me through.

He led by example, with a sure understanding of Proverbs 11:3:

The integrity of the upright shall guide them

And Proverbs 20:7:

The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Brother Linley was a builder. Integrity may be applied, in a sense, to objects-including buildings-to describe their wholeness, intactness or purity. Without integrity life, and the building, disintegrate.

We may also consider the building of a family, at which project Brother Linley excelled. It is not insignificant that he wished, in the end, only for his children to remain together-or integrated, undivided-and strong.

What a privilege for my family to be joined to the Linley family in many ways. Including through the close friendship of my brother Theo jr. and Bill, who were in class together. Sister Linley and my Grandmother were close sisters. I was attracted to Sister Linley’s quiet calm, which her children inherited.

In my visit 2 months ago, Brother Linley also gave me a history of the constituency – including the history of my home. He spoke about Casson, after whom we have Casson Hill and also made reference to “Mac” Richards. He provided insight on the spread of the Sion Hill Estate and the Cane Garden (or Forde) Estate.

One man central to the story was “Syl” DeFreitas – Sylvester G. DeFreitas. Brother Linley admired Syl, I’m sure not only because Mr. DeFreitas afforded him a generous pay increase. He earned $1.68 per day before he met Syl. Syl gave him $3.00 per day. He said that if SVG had 6 people like Syl DeFreitas we would be much better off. Brother Linley himself was a remarkable man. The value he added to my life would not be seen in quantifiable financial terms, but he has enriched my life beyond measure. For every Syl DeFreitas, give me a Lambert Linley.

During my visit, Brother Linley speculated that he might have kidney problems. His feet were swollen. I wanted to help and told him of my sister, in New York, who specializes in internal medicine. When she came home, I promised to let her visit him and look after him. It turned out that the problem was different and severe.

We kept in contact. We had our last extended conversation when I called him from Barbados, on my way to the USA not too long ago. Then I arrived at his home on November 2, 2010, unprompted, except by the inner workings of the spirit, just in time to see him die. In the end, he died in my hands. One more lesson that we learn from Job (Job 1:21) is that “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

If I didn’t come to political service, I would not have had the opportunity to share these last moments with a friend I admire deeply. Any sacrifice made to be among the people I love, to learn from them, and to try to help them, is well worth it.

He told me several times that he believed I would become a leader. Whatever happens, I’ll remember his top law – integrity. I’ll remember the history he shared and his belief in me, from the early days. When Syl DeFreitas died he was buried on Dove Island, across from Indian Bay where we see the big white cross. He was buried standing in the Cross so that he would continue to overlook the Indian Bay Estate that he developed so well. Lambert Linley’s real estate was the lives he touched. He helped me to develop. He is present, as if he overlooks us. He lives through me. I hope to make him proud.

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